Unlocking Doors in Sunderland

Published: 19 March 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Unlocking the Doors

Sunderland Culture is offering three performing arts commissions in theatre, dance, or music for presentation in summer 2021.

These Unlocking the Doors commissions should “capture and convey the public mood as the pandemic restrictions are eased” and “will create opportunities for a wide range of creatives to engage with audiences hungry for creative and social interaction in newfound ways that pivot between live and digital presentation of performances.”

The commissions will reflect the gradual reopening of the city and will be performed in places which “symbolise the city’s culture and identity.”

Ideally, applicants will have had experience of creating exciting and engaging performances in unusual, found or site-specific spaces, but this is not compulsory.

The choice of performance site will rest with the artist, but must be within the geographic boundary of the City of Sunderland. The locations may be buildings, structures or outdoor sites chosen with regard to public safety and COVID restrictions as well as landowner permissions.

Applicants’ proposals must ensure employment opportunities for at least five artistic, production and technical personnel and must engage at least one Sunderland-based artist in the early stage of their career. Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong links with Sunderland.

Each commission will be worth £15,000 and, in addition, Sunderland Culture will endeavour to provide suitable in-kind space for rehearsal, recording or editing as well as additional technical support to supplement the artists own technical team and will provide ticketing, front of house and screening options as required. It will also lead on marketing, PR and social media but also will expect the artists to support through their own networks.

The deadline for applications is Friday 16 April 2021, and it is intended that performances should take place during the summer.

Full details of how to apply and the Commission Timetable can be found on the Sunderland Culture web site.